2006 Potomac Watershed Trash Summit

The Alice Ferguson Foundation would like to thank you all for your enthusiasm and support, which led to a productive and successful Trash Summit on March 16. Attended by more than 260 elected officials, government and nonprofit staff, students, teachers, exhibitors, and interested citizens, the summit was a call to action to work toward a Trash Free Potomac by 2013!

One of the questions that was asked at the summit was “Where do we go from here?” This question is addressed by the creative brainstorming and panel discussions detailed below.

View 2006 Summit Program


Panel Session Reports

Trash Talk: Student Forum on Trash Awareness

    1. Stop trash in its tracks!
    2. Use The Golden Rule of Trash: If you don’t want to see other people’s trash and litter, don’t put it there yourself.
    3. Education is critical to changing behavior.
    4. Enforcement and incentives need to be used to persuade people to put their trash in the right place.

View Detailed Forum Summary

Enforcement of Trash Crimes

    1. Establish a central call number within each jurisdiction for people to report trash crimes, concerns, and questions.
    2. Establish a 1-800-NOTRASH number to report trash offending trucks.
    3. Set up rewards and incentives for reporters of illegal dumping.
    4. Use neighborhood watch activities (not enforcement officers) to monitor and deter illegal trash activity.
    5. Jurisdictions need to work together and collaborate.

View Detailed Panel Session Notes (338kb PDF)

Learning from the Los Angeles River Watershed Project: TMDLs and How Trash Leads to Water Quality and Public Support

    1. Go forward with the process of listing the Anacostia River as an Impaired River for trash.
    2. Explore opportunities for obtaining federal and state grants.
    3. Conduct a Trash Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)-like study and perform an economic analysis of the effects a Trash TMDL would have on the Anacostia region.
    4. The effort must be cooperative and be watershed based, including many partners.
    5. Use a combined budget across departments to finance.
    6. Provide a platform for the public to voice its opinions and meet regularly to monitor progress and network.

View Detailed Panel Session Notes (349kb PDF)

Wake Up and Smell the Trash! Public Information and Education

    1. Develop repeat messages to raise awareness and encourage stewardship.
    2. Make an assessment of current communication efforts first, then work on consolidating messages and resources.
    3. Develop a web-based platform on the Trash Free Potomac Watershed Initiative website to post all resource materials for free.
    4. Increase peer pressure by citizens.
    5. Make it fun! Use a task and reward system.

View Detailed Panel Session Notes (333kb PDF)

There’s Treasure in Trash: Recycling and Business Opportunities

    1. Litter taxes should be used to pay for public education campaigns.
    2. Deposit laws greatly reduce the trash and litter problem and increase the recycling rate.
    3. Deposit laws can be creative.
    4. Local government activities all should include recycling.
    5. Facilitate connections between jurisdictions with recycling programs and the businesses that want/need the material to manufacture their goods.
    6. Consider other economic streams for making products out of trash instead of sending trash to a landfill.

View Detailed Panel Session Notes (328kb PDF)

Trash Hot Spots and Regional Successes

    1. Promote Adopt-A-Stream programs.
    2. Time cleanups for the spring and fall, to limit exposure to poison ivy, snakes, extreme temperatures, mosquitoes, and overgrowth of vegetation.
    3. Coordinate cleanups and education programs with schools to work around school holidays and include programs in curriculum.
    4. Obtain sponsorship for flyers and other promotional materials to aid in advertising.
    5. Items such as funny or clever t-shirts are a great way to get people involved and advertise events, behavior, or organizations.
    6. Small cities and towns should work together on costly but effective methods of trash control.
    7. Low- to no-cost solutions like homemade trash skimmers are very effective and are great when used in combination with Adopt-a-Stream programs or with school and youth groups.
    8. Small groups can partner with other organizations, cities, or counties to handle tipping fees after cleanups.

View Detailed Panel Session Notes (326kb PDF)

Trash Summit Presentations

  • Trash Hot Spots and Regional Successes Edward Murtagh, Friends of Sligo Creek
    View 1.52MB PowerPoint
  • There’s Treasure in Trash: Recycling and Business Opportunities Patricia Franklin, Executive Director Container Recycling Institute
    View 948KB PowerPoint
  • Learning from the Los Angles River Watershed Project: TMDLs and How Trash Leads to Water Quality and Public Support Scott Lines, Storm Water Program Analyst, City of Long Beach
    View 6.48MB PowerPoint
  • Learning from the Los Angles River Watershed Project: TMDLs and How Trash to Water Quality and Public Support Jonathan Bishop, Executive Officer, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
    View 4.64MB PowerPoint
  • Learning from the Los Angles River Watershed Project: TMDLs and How Trash Leads to Water Quality and Public Support Leslie S. Mintz, Legislative Director, Heal the Bay

Evaluation Summary

A summary of evaluation form responses gathered at the Potomac Watershed Trash Summit, March 16, 2006 at The World Bank in Washington, DC. View 299kb PDF